3 Ethics Improvements You Can Make Right Now
Company ethics policies and initiatives will continue to shift based on industry best practices, emerging new risks, and the ever-changing workforce environment. You’ll often look for advice about improving and managing the effectiveness of your ethics policies and enforcement. As we charge into a new business year, you can explore these areas of potential improvement with your company ethics positions. And there are insights to help you make immediate ethics improvements, including the many benefits of implementing an ethics hotline.
Revisit Your Company Ethics Policies
Consider sitting down with your Human Resources and risk management teams to review the current company ethics policies. A team approach to reviewing what works and what doesn’t, along with discussions about new potential ethics risks, will help you determine improvement opportunities. Examine your company definitions and violation procedures to ensure your policies still align with regulatory and ethical standards. These areas include:
· Sexual Harassment
· Fraud & Theft
· Data Security & Privacy
· OSHA & Safety
Consider Improving How & When You Provide Ethics Training
Once you’re confident that your company’s ethics policies and procedures are up to date, you can seek to make additional improvements in how you identify and manage the oversight of these policies. And it starts with your internal training initiatives. Look to find better ways to share training with your employees, especially departmental managers. Some businesses find that an increased frequency of internal ethics training can be enough to reinforce ethical behaviors. Others are tapping into various new channels for training, including digital libraries and refresher courses online. As you review your training methods, frequency, and materials, be sure every effort includes training on the following:
· Ethics Definitions
· What Constitutes a Violation
· Precise Steps for Reporting Violations
· Transparent Procedure Outlines
Be mindful, too, that your ethics training includes specific examples at all levels of employee or visitor engagement. In other words, define with examples of what violations look like from the shop room floor to the C-Suite executive office to demonstrate your zero tolerance for ethical breaches.
Implement an Ethics Hotline
Today’s workforces look different, interact differently, and conduct business differently. Your traditional company ethics policies and procedures may not cover all these new work environment dynamics. One way to immediately close those gaps and improve your ethics safety net is with the implementation of an ethics hotline. Having a hotline in place will provide an added layer of anonymity to any reporting, helping to empower everyone among your ranks to support your ethics policies. But hotlines can extend beyond the traditional, on-premises employee. Deputize everyone with a hotline, including:
· Remote Workers
· Temporary Workers
· Vendors & Contractors
· Guests & Visitors
· Clients & Customers
When more people can feel confident about reporting violations without repercussions, you’ll stay ahead of major ethics concerns and prevent long-term adverse results.
Keep these company ethics improvements in mind as you look to make your processes more effective. And contact Ethical Advocate to discuss your ethics hotline options. It could be just the improvement your company needs to combat violations and enforce your ethics policies in 2023.